Imagine that you are listening to music or watching something interesting on the television; you may hear your partner chatting in the background but you are not really listening to what they are saying. The 'phone rings and you immediately take notice. You are conditioned to pay attention to the telephone. A whistle can have the same effect on a dog. If you spend time and effort conditioning the dog to react immediately, you will have a fast and reliable recall.
A whistle carries further than the human voice and is also constant and without emotion.
If you want a reliable whistle recall, be prepared to spend time making sure that each level is "hard-wired"into your dog's brain. Do not rush the process and make sure that you have 100% success before moving on to the next level.
Firstly, decide on how many blasts of the whistle you will use and then always use that signal.
Week OnePrepare his food as normal. Ask him to sit and wait and then blow the whistle and release him to eat his food. That's it. Don't be tempted to do anything else for the first week. Follow this proceedure for every meal for a week.
Week Two and BeyondPrepare his food and show it to him; then take him into another room and ask someone to hold him. Walk back into the kitchen and blow the whistle. When he is released, he should rush to you. Put the food down straight away and let him eat without waiting.
Once you are sure that he will rush to the food bowl, try taking the bowl to different rooms and into the garden. You can hide sometimes and make that part of the game.When he is reliably speeding to find you wherever you are in the house and garden, you are ready to take the whistle outwith you.
When blowing the whistle outside, remember that you want to hard-wire speed and an immediate response , so don't use it if you think that the level of difficulty is too great at that time. When you use the whistle, make sure that you use the highest value rewards. Use the best food and games that are used only for whistle recall
If he zooms back to you, do not be afraid to really show how pleased you are. Make a huge fuss and be really excited. It doesn't matter if passers by think that you are crazy; one day a good recalll may save his life.